GSAT–7, the first Indian exclusive defence satellite was successfully launched on 29 August 2013 by the European space consortium Arianespace’s Ariane 5 Rocket from the Kourou Spaceport of French Guiana. This launch will push ahead India’s maritime security. Indian Navy will use the multi-band home-built communication spacecraft that is expected to become operational by September 2013.
GSAT–7 has been built at an expense of 185 crore rupees and will act as the country’s maiden dedicated spacecraft for defence applications. It was launched during 50-minute launch window that started at 2 am and was injected into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit of 249 km perigee (nearest point to earth), 35,929 km apogee (farthest point to earth) and an inclination of 3.5 degree with respect to the equator after completing a flight of 34 minutes. Its frequency bands will enable space based marine communications and will cover the Indian landmass as well as surrounding seas.
From 31 August to 4 September 2013, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will perform three orbit-raising operations for placement of the satellite into the geostationary orbit of 36000 km above the equator. Further, it would be positioned in its orbital slot of 74 degree East Longitude by 14 September 2013 and the communication transponders of the satellite will be switched on.
The frequency bands of GSAT–7 will help space-based marine communications and cover the Indian landmass as well as surrounding seas. Earlier, Inmarsat provided satellite communication to ships. Inmarsat is a major global satellite communication service provider.
• It is an advanced communication satellite that will help by providing low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication
• Payload of the GSAT–7 is designed to provide communication capabilities to users in distant oceanic regions
• Its solar arrays generate 2900 W of electrical power
Lift-off mass of GSAT–7 was 2625 kilogram and technological elements fixed with the ISRO’s 2500 kilogram satellite bus included an antenna. To keep the satellite functional during the periods of eclipse, satellite carries A108 Ampere-Hour Lithium-Ion battery. 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) and thrusters has been used in the propulsion subsystem.
ISRO uses the Spaceport of French Guiana for heavy launches because its GSLV rocket with the indigenous cryogenic stage is under its development phase and before being used for heavy launches and declared operational, it requires two successful flights.
ISRO can’t launch heavy satellites like GSAT-7 as its home-grown GSLV rocket, with indigenous cryogenic stage, is still in works and needs two successful flights before it’s declared operational.
French Guiana is an overseas region of France on the North Atlantic coast of South America.
Where: French Guiana
When: 29 August 2013